February 2, 2011 Subject:
The Original 'Great Escape'
Qingdao,then called Kiao-Chow (Tsingtao),or by its german colonial name Tsingtau, is the backdrop for the beginning this adventure by the aviator Gunther Plüschow. Not heeding to the Japanese request to surrender the town held out for 2 month against british naval bombardments and a Japanese force of 30,000 being outnumbered about six to one. Plüschow
flew reconnaissance and from his drawings they were able to train their guns on the attacking forces. Thus conserving ammunition rather than firing wildly.
Just before the town had to surrender Plüschow was given dispatches by the Governor and using his plane,he became the only one to escape from "Tsingtau",while many ended up in Japan in POW camps.
The plane runs out of fuel over a rice field on the way; He then gets to Nankin and escapes from Chinese officials.Makes it to Shanghai,finds a ship; hides from Japanese Custom officials in ports in Japan; travels on to San Francisco then by train to New York.Manages to get a forged passport and continues on an Italian ship that is held up by the British at Gibraltar.From here he is transferred to a POW camp north of Derby in England and again makes his escape being the only POW to ever escape from England.